2015 CRA Convention Preview

The 80th Annual Convention of the California Republican Assembly begins one week from today. The good news is that Michael Reagan is the keynote speaker on Saturday night. The bad news is that the event—which should be a celebration of effectiveness of CRA—is instead poised to be the biggest circular firing squad assembled since Karen England tried her hostile takeover in 2011. Ironically, this convention is being held at the very same venue.

Already on the docket are Baron Knight and Steve Sarkis. Both men are appealing CRA Board votes concerning their suspensions. These votes are the result of the Anaheim Republican Assembly mismanagement under then Chapter President Sarkis.  Knight was given a five year ban from CRA and Sarkis was handed a lifetime ban. Both men have appealed to the full convention to hear their cases.

I think it is likely that both sentences will be overturned or severely truncated. While the order of appearance before the body may matter to the outcome, I just don’t think folks come all the way to Sacramento to burn fellow members at the stake…whether they deserve it or not.

The biggest likely winner in this dust-up is Tom Hudson. Hudson has emerged as leader of “the loyal opposition”. The biggest losers from this confrontation are sitting President John Briscoe and the Park brothers—George and Aaron.

Plans are afoot to change the number of high value targets on trial from a double header to a trifecta. If they get their way, Park, Briscoe and Park plan to paint a target on the Nevada County Republican Assembly and then go nuclear on them. By a four to three vote, the Charter Review Committee voted to defer sanctions on Nevada RA until a after the Convention. Nevada is slowly bringing itself into compliance—albeit, kicking and screaming much of the way.

The Parks are on Charter Review, and they are not happy that they lost on their motion to punish Nevada RA now. Please understand that they need a 2/3 vote to decharter Nevada RA, and already failed at the last Board meeting. In fact the January vote by the Board was either a tie or one vote over half depending on whose count you believe. How they think they have the votes at Convention is just insanity. In fact, they want to decharter Nevada RA on the first night of the Convention at the Friday afternoon Board meeting. Nevada RA could then appeal the vote to the full body on the following day. If Nevada wins there, they have defacto immunity for the rest of their existence.

If this were to unfold this way, I predict that John Briscoe will be defeated for re-election and Tom Hudson will emerge as the supreme leader of CRA. Furthermore, the Parks will quit CRA. Yes, they are that angry and taking all this that personally. Why Nevada has gotten under their skin like it has is just amazing.

To prevent this scenario, I have let it be known that if this topic comes up when I’m at the Board meeting, that I will motion to defer this matter to a Board meeting following the Convention. To employ the old phrase, “there are bigger fish that need fryin’”. Why the Parks are expending so much energy on a tangent like this is shortsighted.

At the January Board meeting, President Briscoe did everything that he could to disrupt and undermine the debate and vote on Nevada RA and now he lets it be known that he was for the action recommended by Charter Review?! John, your future in CRA might be dicey but you could always utilize your parliamentary skills as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The other adventure in bomb throwing and self-immolation at the Convention is my resolution to sever the relationship between CRA and the California Republican Party. CRA existed before CRP and is a private corporation but it also has subjected itself to the CRP because CRA is an officially recognized charter organization of the California Republican Party. Thus CRA must support the CRP endorsed candidate in the General Election even if a better qualified Republican is running in the race.

Some folks have said that we should wait to break with CRP until we see if the platform is lost. Newsflash; we lost the platform a week ago, 861 to 293. The proverbial pot is boiling; do the frogs stay or go? We will have the answer next week-end.

I foresee a high probability that I will be a Decline-to-State voter very soon if things continue as they are. Reagan said, “I didn’t leave the Party, the Party left me.” I’m feeling that way now.